Wedding Wednesday: Tips on Choosing Wedding Invitations

By 300 Sandwiches

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1440samplesLOI whittled down my guest list to a manageable number. Now I need to let them know they’ve been invited. Next step on my wedding checklist: choosing wedding invitations.

I’m just four months out from my wedding, so I had to hustle to find someone to do mine. In my research, I found a few tips to getting what you want and saving a few bucks in the process.

START WAY IN ADVANCE: Typically wedding invites are sent out 6 to 8 weeks in advance of the big day, and sometimes three months or more ahead of a destination wedding. Invites can take as long as 4 to 6 weeks to assemble, between choosing a design, going through several proofs and corrections, and printing. My goal is to have these things in people’s mailboxes about two months before the ceremony, but I also covered my basis by sending save the dates back in December. I hope people have asked for their vacation days already.

SEARCH FOR CUSTOM PRINTERS. Bridal magazines and websites are great sources. Instagram and Pinterest (nope, just can’t quit you, damn Pinterest!) are also great sources. When searching, don’t just type in wedding invitations—try custom printers. People who do posters, party invitations, t-shirts or other graphic design work may have unique designs or materials—invitations on a trucker hat for a country-themed wedding, perhaps—that would make awesome custom wedding invitations.

GO LOCAL. A friend insisted I picked someone who lived in the same town as I did. Makes sense that your designer is close by if there’s a problem. And there will be one—someone’s name will be misspelled, or the ink will be off in color, or the printing will have a smudge. That’s why there’s drafts. These things are easier to fix when you and your designer are looking at issues together at the same time.

ORDER MORE INVITES THAN YOU NEED. It’s a pain, and extra dough, to go back to the printer and ask for extra invitations and envelopes. Add about 20 percent more invites to your total than you’ll need. They’ll come in handy for last minute invitations, or if invites get lost in the mail.

LETTERPRESS vs HAND-WRITTEN. I love gold foil stamped calligraphy as much as the next girl. Keep in mind anything that can be printed more than once—the invitation, save the dates, programs or menus—can be digitally printed or letterpressed for less than what it would cost to hand write. Addressed envelopes to your guests may be handwritten, but you can have your return addressed printed, stamped, or labeled on the envelopes.

CONSIDER CUTTING THE RSVP CARD: I was thisclose to including them in my invitation suite, but then realized…. who is really going to send that back? I included an e-mail address for our wedding web site, and people can send their RSVPs there. I’ll have one place to collect everyone’s information, as opposed to keeping track of cards in the mail, and save me time and money.

Above, these beautiful samples are from New York-based, a beautiful design studio run by Patricia Kim. She has more beautiful options on her web site. Check her out!

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